December 14, 2006

Tom Tancredo: "What I Meant by 'Third World' Miami"

Tom Tancredo released a copy of comments he was expected to deliver tomorrow in Miami, until he was forced to cancel because of threats or venue reluctance:
The following remarks were prepared by Rep. Tom Tancredo for a speech at the Miami Rotary Club that he was forced to cancel because of threats of violence.
. . .
I have three concerns about the evolution of this Miami experiment over the past half century, the magnet it has become for illegal immigration, and the dangers that multiculturalism poses for our future as a nation.

My first concern is that we must understand the limits of American generosity and the need to enforce those limits through immigration laws and secure borders. We cannot simply open the doors to everyone who wants to come to America, because without limit and without a viable system of assimilation, America will cease to be America. Without secure borders, America will come to mirror the problems of poverty and corruption that afflict so much of the world from which people wish to escape. America has welcomed the refugees from the communist tyranny in Cuba, just as it welcomed refugees from the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and from the communist take over in Vietnam and Laos. Those are POLITICAL refugees, people fleeing out of fear for their lives and for religious freedom.
. . .
My second concern is for our nation’s security with open borders and a broken immigration system. We must recognize we live in a different world than the 1960s. And we must adjust our approach to immigration accordingly. In public policy, many times the appropriate solution to a problem in one era is the cause of problems in another. Today we have real enemies in the world of Islamo-fascism, enemies who are actively planning acts of terror against our cities and our monuments and our people. The FBI says Hezbollah is active in Mexico, and we know that networks used to smuggle drugs and Guatemalan workers can also be used to smuggle terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. We cannot continue our lackadaisical approach to border security in this environment.

My third concern is actually my main worry, and it goes beyond numbers or threats to our national security. When millions of people are coming to the United States each year—many of them from the same geographic area and without any desire to become Americans—how do we preserve and perpetuate the “American identity”? By the American identity I mean those qualities that make us Americans, make our country the envy of the world and the beacon of hope for freedom loving people everywhere. If we lose those qualities, if we start to look like and act like the rest of the world, where will the next generation of political refugees seek asylum? Throughout history, America has absorbed waves of immigration and preserved a shared national identity by assimilating newcomers into the great “melting pot.” But many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not the “melting pot” is still melting—or if it has been replaced by a “salad bowl.”
Quite good and lenthy. Read it all.



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